Some ask why AB 1634 allows pure breed animals to be bred while it precludes owners of mixed breed animals to do the same. It is estimated by some that in California 97% of the 500,000 animals killed in municipal shelters each year are of mixed pedigree.
Pure breed dogs and cats are usually adopted or rescued by breed specific organizations who have a specific interest in protecting their breed. These organizations are often capable of accepting pure breeds that would have been difficult to adopt due to serious behavior or health issues.
A critical problem facing California today is the indiscriminate breeding of dogs and cats. Pet overpopulation is costly to local ($250 million annually) and State ($121.6 million to date plus $30 million annually) government.
Pet overpopulation contributes to the spread of disease, some of which are transmittable to humans. Pet overpopulation also places an enormous burden on the thousands of municipal employees throughout the State who we require to perform euthanasia simply because there are not enough homes for all the animals in our shelters. The national annualized attrition rate for shelter workers is 40%. In California some shelters have a 90% rate. It is not right to ask our employees to continue killing without providing them the tools they need to finally solve this vexing problem.
The legislative intent of the Hayden and Vincent Bills passed in the late 90's is clear. The intention is to make California a "no-kill" State by the year 2010. AB 1634 is critical to achieving this laudable goal. It is not likely we will achieve this goal without this legislation.
It is time for courageous legislative action to help end the horrible and unnecessary destruction of life in the State of California. If we fail to pass AB 1634 the message we will send to our children is that life has little or no value compared to the personal property rights of irresponsible breeders.
The time has come to end the unnecessary and senseless breeding of pet animals while we are unable to provide enough loving homes for all of them.
The above article was written in collaboration with Mike McFarland, Executive Director of Stanislaus County Animal Services. We urge you to fax and call your Assembly representative today!